The world is embracing the Cloud for storing documents, information, and managing applications. It seems eerily similar to the technology model we had before when mainframes (servers) were doing all of the processing and sending data to dummy terminals (thin clients). Either way, there are many advantages to managing data in the Cloud; data accessibility from anywhere, disaster recovery, and managed services.
There are many vendors who have embraced the Cloud early on like Salesforce.com, a leader in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software space. Other vendors like Oracle, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon are investing billions in Cloud platforms around various services like Data Warehouse and Management Solutions for Analytics, Cloud Infrastructure Services, and Public Cloud Storage Services. They are all “betting on the Cloud” and gaining momentum. If you’d like to review the analysis from Gartner, a leading independent research firm, review it here.
All Clouds are not Created Equal
If we look at vendors specializing in project management software, and even more specifically construction project management software, we are talking about companies who are much smaller than Amazon and Google. It seems like every time you turnaround a new vendor pops up in this space. These companies have smaller budgets to invest in the infrastructure required to make sure your data is protected. Many vendors offering project management software in the Cloud do not publish much detail about their Cloud infrastructure and your protection of data on their websites. Buyers of construction management software often evaluate the features and functionality of project management software and may overlook, “who is managing my data?”.
Companies need to prioritize the importance of the Cloud vendor and consider:
- What happens to my project data if the vendor’s system is hacked?
- Can the vendor lock me out of my own project data – for reasons like I am late paying my bill?
- How do I access my project data if my vendor’s data center has a power outage?
- What happens to my data if the vendor goes out of business?
It is critical to review the Service Level Agreement (SLA) from any provider that is managing your software-as-a-service (SaaS). It is critical that vendors offer proactive methods in protecting your data. You’ll see how common a cybercrime is in this video; Cybercrime: A story of vulnerability, deception, and security.
That is why we chose to deploy our construction project management system, VPO in the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft has invested heavily in building their Cloud on these principles:
Your data is yours to Microsoft. Is your project data yours to your current provider? Review the Microsoft Trust Center and make sure you are getting the service and protection you deserve.